The Firehouse Five Plus Two was a Dixieland jazz band that consisted of members of the Walt Disney company. Animator Ward Kimball started it all and acted as the Band Leader. They released 12 original albums along with addition Greatest Hits and Live efforts over their career starting in 1949 and ending in 1970. Their first LP was released in 1951.
The Firehouse Five Plus Two at Disneyland is a wonderful example of a live performance. It highlights the bands exuberant style and ample use of anvils and firetruck sirens, like this one:
The cover of this album is both hilarious and historic, as it is a snapshot in time for both the men and the Disneyland Park:
Who had more fun? This is certainly a band who put goofing around in first place, playing music in a close second, and showmanship front and center!
The album contains eight numbers. What follows are the brief introductions between numbers. It should go a long way to proving that the band didn’t take themselves too seriously:
This particular album was released by Contemporary Records, and not Disneyland Records, as one might expect.
Walt Disney approved of the band as long as they promised to stay on his staff doing their ‘day jobs’. He even featured them in Disneyland parades, on the original Mickey Mouse Club, and in other promotions.
I have most of the twelve original albums. I acquired them from a tiny used record shop in California during my first visit to Disneyland. One or two I had to get from eBay.
- The Firehouse Five Plus Two Story – Part One (1951)
- The Firehouse Five Plus Two Story – Part Two (1951)
- The Firehouse Five Plus Two Story – Part Three (1952)
- The Firehouse Five Plus Two Story – Part Four (1952)
- The Firehouse Five Plus Two Plays for Lovers (1956)
- The Firehouse Five Plus Two, Volume Five: Goes South! (1956)
- The Firehouse Five Plus Two Goes To Sea (1957)
- The Firehouse Five Plus Two Dixieland Favorites (1960)
- The Firehouse Five Plus Two Crashes a Party (1960)
- The Firehouse Five Plus Two Around the World (1961)
- The Firehouse Five Plus Two At Disneyland (1962)
- The Firehouse Five Plus Two Goes To a Fire (1964)
The last two albums aren’t considered part of the official 12 releases for the band. But they do exist for the completionists among us. The first is a reunion album to celebrate the band’s 20th Anniversary, and the last album is a live recording that didn’t go too well, according to reviewers:
- The Firehouse Five Plus Two Twenty Years Later (1970)
- The Firehouse Five Plus Two Live at Earthquake McGoon’s (1970)